Husband and I decided last minute to book this ship since our April 26th Sunshine cruise was cancelled. We drove to Tampa from Atlanta, did park and ride. Was very quickly checked in, our first time at Port of Tampa. We've been on Carnival a few times so we knew what to expect. We are Diamonds on RCCL and cruise them more.
Room- Big, comfortable bed. Awesome water pressure. 2 closets. We were on Deck 3.
The ship overall was laid out better than RCCL Monarch of Seas, and the boats are the same size, so go figure. Carnival had much more shops/bars etc. The pool area is just ok. One little pool in the center and a wasted stage area. The top deck aft is a large, really weird space with some sort of pool, basketball thing going on. The Serenity area is best place on the ship to relax, very quiet/comfortable and accessible to the Marketplace. Overall, a very well laid out ship with many different places for entertainment.
The gym- actually liked the Paradise's gym better than the much darker/dank/tiny Dream gym.
The food-Was very good. Was just on RCCL Liberty in January and Paradise's was better than that ship and the Carnival Dream. The service was great. Actually ate in dining room for lunch, it was great. First time in 15 cruises.
Service- was great everywhere we went. Even though this ship is older, it is VERY clean, everywhere you go. Although, the pool deck could be picked up more during the day than it was. The marketplace was done very well, much better than the Dream (2x bigger ship) and the colors/decor MUCH better than the Dream, not sure what happened on that ship.
Entertainment-We don't care for the shows on Carnival,the Dream was worst ever (more like high school drill team.) But we did go to some music show and it were actually very good. Always made it to the Comedians every night, definitely worth it. The various music talent around the ship, always make it lively.
Only complaint, was the behavior of some "sketchy" women, at the main pool, exposing themselves (top and bottom frontal) acting inappropriately in front of families and kids in the pool and up/down the water slide. I think the Security should have done something. I don't care what they do in their rooms, I don't think young children need to see that. Plus they were older not like they were Spring Breakers. Anything for attention I guess.
All in all a great 4 day trip, with perfect weather for 4 days and no complaints. What more could you ask for? Met so many nice people. I'm sure when this ship goes in for refurbishment next year it will get the 2.0 upgrades and make better use of that weird upper deck space with water slides.